As the culmination of 2018’s One Book One Milton program, the Milton Public Library hosted The Book of Awesome author Neil Pasricha on the Mattamy Stage at the First Ontario Arts Centre Milton on December 17, 2018. The set up was casual – Pasricha sat with the evening’s MC – CBC News reporter Michael Serapio – to discuss The Book of Awesome, in addition to his other published works and ongoing projects.
The author began by explaining how a series of difficult events in his life motivated him to search for positive moments in the day-to-day. Using a blog platform, he wrote an essay every weeknight for four years. The award-winning blog 1000 Awesome Things was bid on by various publishing houses to eventually become The Book of Awesome – a delightful series of observations on the small but glorious moments that make life worth living. On this topic, Pasricha believes that our view of life is skewed – we judge our success and happiness on the big, memorable occasions, but the bulk of our life is spent in the smaller, seemingly insignificant moments.
A fan of numbers, Pasricha likes to remind people that we only have an average of 30,000 days or 1000 months to live, but that we have approximately 1000 minutes of awake time each day to enjoy. Maybe those minutes will consist of life changing events, but this author encourages us to enjoy the daily minutiae – like popping bubble wrap, discovering the cool side of the pillow, or waking up and realizing it’s Saturday.
In the Q&A portion of the well-attended evening event, the author answered a number of personal questions (including some from well spoken pre-teens!). He discussed the way children have changed him, by softening his harder edges, and helping to calm his ambitious nature. He also discussed the importance of sometimes working for free, and the creativity and freedom it can offer. Today, Pasricha offers additional content through a Toronto Star column, a YouTube channel, and his podcast show “3 Books with Neil Pasricha” in which he interviews inspiring people about their three most formative books.
The Milton Public Library’s One Book One Milton program invites the community to read the same book together, in the hopes of creating a shared interest. Each year the Canadian book in question aims to appeal to both adult men and women. The subject matter is engaging, and raises issues of importance. Miltonians can purchase, borrow, or download the books.
The 2019 book has yet to be chosen so be sure to visit onebookonemilton.ca to follow along.